My latest adventure was a trip in time. Back to the days of hair bands, spandex, theatrical displays of hedonism
and music to go deaf by. It all started with a baseball game...
I had tickets to go see the front running Arizona Diamondbacks versus the San Diego Padres as a team-building
experience for me and my co-workers, one of which was a blathering Padre apologist. I even let Kenny G., of
Snake Hunt fame go with us. As the Diamondbacks pulled out a ninth inning knuckle biter, I got to lustily boo Ben
Davis. He's the Padre player who cowardly broke up a Schilling perfect game by bunting. It's been on all the
stations...where have you been! The Padre fans took their spanking with a fair amount of grace but they were
definitely ready to drink away their misery. They wanted to go to a local disco down the street but I implored
them to go to my favorite hangout, Alice Cooper's Town.
Cooper's Town is a combination of an outdoor concert venue and museum of sports and rock relics. Inside there
is everything from a Jimi Hendrix guitar to signed Joe Dimaggio's uniform. Their collection makes my shrine look
like Al Capone's vault. They have great BBQ served by kabuki Goths with make up that comes in stencils. Outside,
it feels like Altamont. There are biker gangs, chained wallets and enough leather to clothe a tribe of Indians through
four winters. Tonight they are featuring the Anti-Christ and his band of sheep, or something like that. They
specialize in AC/DC...and only AC/DC. People have choreographed dances for every one of their songs, and I
carefully choreograph my beer intake. Kenny G. is choreographing optimal sight vantages for, Surprise! Biker
chicks letting their puppies fly. When all of a sudden Alice Cooper his self hits the stage! I, along with all the other
misfit toys, rush the stage. I once did that at a Rush concert. Is that a conundrum or what?
Standing next to the speaker, now I realize why the TV is ALWAYS SO LOUD!!!!!, I cut quite a figure of coolness.
Dressed in my white baseball regalia amongst this black herd of steer and getting jiggy with the soaring anthem of
"I'm Eighteen," Alice acknowledged my presence with a raised eyebrow. The aging icon of Poe-ish pop flails into
"Billion Dollar Babies" while the crowd surges trapping me against a woofer the size of Meteor Crater. As I'm holding
my ears and screaming, "The bells, the bells!" the groupies illustrate a "Girls Gone Wild" video. Alice finishes his
three-song set with none other than "School's Out." For most of this crowd, school has been out since fourth
grade. I must say though, he didn't leave us hanging! (He used to finish his shows by hanging himself). He leaves
the stage in rock star fashion imploring us to drink heartily because this is his only way of making money these
days since he has not had a hit in a generation. But Alice is still cool, still ugly and still rocking after all these years.
The next day it's off to the KDKB 30th Anniversary Concert at the local outdoor amphitheater. The concert
features the sounds of some of the 1970's biggest bands: Bad Company, Styx, Billy Squier and Journey. I meet
my friend, Tara, outside the venue and make our way past security without the usual pawing. Well, at least I did. I
noticed Tara going through the line twice? I managed, believe it or not, to get past the gift shop full of $47 t-shirts
without buying anything. I get my $8 beer, no T-shirt is worth six beers, and we head to the pasture, which they
call the cheap seats. We brought our blankets, bottled water and my binocular, which will be needed to see
anyone in the 26th row. Because there is no way that we could see the stage, even with the Hubble.
We meet some more friends, Rob & Liz and their young relatives, Fred & Shirley, who are just young enough to
make us all feel old. As we are belting out the hits of Billy Squier, Fred & Shirley are looking at us like I did when my
Mom sung Johnny Ray songs. Who? Never mind. So here we are soaking up the glory of the sunshine in 109Â°
weather, I can feel the melanoma forming now, and listening to the music that I use to call trash compared to the
music of the sixties. But now, it all waxes nostalgic for me and I long for a time when the bands weren't named
"Vomit," like they are now. It even sounds better than it used to after a couple more cocktails.
It's then that I realize that it is good that we are so far away because we can't see their wrinkles from here. Bad
Company comes on stage and is amazingly on top of their game. They still have original lead singer but the rest of
the band has been put together like a Frankenstein. Soon I track down another buddy from Mattel, who longs to
be a Boy Toy instead of a Toy Boy. Tim is also a hippie from the far-flung rock era who usually ponytails his freak
flag, but has gotten into the spirit of this square Woodstock and lets it hang out. What? Never mind. I'm talking
about his hair!
Some of the other lounge acts around us merit mention. First, there is the girl in the silver lame short set, who
looks like a baked potato. Also, the guy with a concert shirt from "Tent City," not to mention the guy with the
T-shirt that says, "Show Your T*TS! Class characters all.
Anyway, let's get to the star of this email, Tara. We are all dancing a happy beat as the sun finally starts to
descend. Of course, you really can't dance to Styx music but that doesn't stop us. Tara has made fast friends
with my co-worker, Tim. Matter of fact, Tara makes fast friends of almost anyone! But as fast as she makes
friends, they all find out eventually they cannot keep up. He sputters as she is gossiping, dancing and making
money all at the same time! The woman is truly amazing.
Keep on Truckin'
The Space Cowboy